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Local GOP applauds election gains

Dan Stockman

Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette

Newly re-elected Rep. Marlin Stutzman greets supporters at a post-election lunch party Wednesday at GOP headquarters.

FORT WAYNE – Republicans from across northeast Indiana gathered at Allen County GOP headquarters Wednesday to celebrate their many wins while munching on Coney dogs.

Though Republicans had a rough time nationally, losing the White House and losing two seats in each house of Congress, they cleaned up in Allen County, with every GOP candidate but one winning among county voters.

Senate candidate Richard Mourdock lost statewide but won in Allen County; only state Superintendent of Instruction Tony Bennett lost here.

“Allen County was one of the strongest Republican strongholds in the state,” county Republican Chairman Steve Shine said. “With the exception of the state superintendent, every race was won by a Republican, and won big.”

Even Bennett fared well in the county, losing by about 3,000 votes out of more than 141,000 cast. General Assembly candidates from across the region made brief appearances to celebrate winning a super-majority in the House before heading to Indianapolis to caucus.

“In every other (race), this county provided big margins, including for Mourdock,” Shine said. “It proves our conservative roots go deep.”

The mood at the traditional post-election luncheon was jubilant, with the national results barely getting mentioned and Shine exhorting the crowd to acclaim its victories.

“Let’s stand up and cheer for what we did last night,” Shine shouted. “This has been one heck of a year.”

Rep. Marlin Stutzman, who easily won re-election to Congress, said voters punished Statehouse Democrats for their walkouts over right-to-work and school-voucher legislation and gave Republicans a large enough majority to conduct business without them.

“When you leave the state of Indiana and go to Illinois, voters are not going to reward that,” he said.


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